Curfew in the localities of two communities where the incidents occurred
ANANTAPUR: A minor issue of harassment of girls snowballed into a conflict between two communities and eventually led to violent incidents at Kadiri in the district on Monday.
The police fired some 20 rounds in the air twice to disperse the clashing mobs and to bring the situation under control.
Curfew was clamped in the localities of the two communities where the incidents occurred and prohibitory orders under Section 144 were also imposed in the rest of the town. Superintendent of Police M.S. Raveendra was camping there to oversee the situation.
Several persons from both the communities were injured in the police lathicharge.
The issue took a violent turn on Saturday night when a group of SC community allegedly attacked a few houses of Muslims in Kummara Veedhi locality.
About a dozen Muslim women and children were injured in the attack and their houses ransacked by the SC community.
The immediate provocation for the attack was stated to be a warning and threats issued to a few SC youth by the kin of some Muslim girls who were allegedly being harassed regularly by the former.
Four SC youth were picked up by the police on Monday and the women from the community staged a protest in front of the police station demanding their release alleging that false cases were being foisted on them.
The two communities clashed near the MRO's office and were dispersed after a lathicharge by the police.
Later, a large group of Muslim youths allegedly attacked the SC locality, set on fire seven huts and ransacked another six houses.
Four women and girls received serious injuries in the attack.
The police lathicharged the mob and later fired 10 rounds in the air to disperse it.
After retreating from the SC locality, the Muslim youths allegedly attacked the police and mediapersons on the bypass road leading to another round of lathicharge and another 10 rounds of firing in the air. They snatched video cameras of three Telugu news channels, broke them and also attacked mediamen.
Additional forces were called in from Chittoor district.
District Collector D. Kadmiel visited both the localities and urged both sides to observe restraint, as the issue was delicate.
A relief camp was opened for those rendered homeless in the incidents.